What is Hydrographic?
Also known as hydro dipping, hydrographic involves transferring complex patterns into an object. The models are used as decorative agents to object surfaces. There are hundreds of patterns to use in decorating surfaces. Such surfaces include wood, glass, ceramics, metal surfaces, and plastic. With hydro dipping, the objects obtain a camouflage appearance, a geometric layout, or any other design you want.
Multiple names refer to hydrographic such as water transfer printing, fluid or hydro imaging, water immersion printing, and hydro dip.
The process involves easy steps of cleaning the surface thoroughly before applying the coat. However, the do-it-yourself techniques can get challenging especially to novice people. So, this articles outlines seven common mistakes during hydro dipping and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1: Insufficient Planning
Planning and deciding which patterns you want is crucial. Besides, an unclear knowledge on what you need for the process is a huge setback. If you lack the experience on the required materials for hydro dipping, the chances are that you’ll have challenges doing the task.
To avoid this setback, invest in all the supplies needed for the process. This would mean placing orders with reputable companies in the industry like Kryptek to purchase enough paint, paint guns, and an air compressor.
Mistake #2: Superficial Cleaning
One of the most common mistake that most people make is doing a shallow cleaning. This means scratching or cleaning the surface inadequately before applying a base paint. The results of a superficially cleaned surface are the inability of the color to stick on the surface and immediate wear of the paint.
You can avoid this common mistake by cleaning your object thoroughly before the coating process. Consider using soapy water, 91% isopropyl alcohol, and scrubbing pads during this crucial stage. Besides, wear cleaning gloves and clothes to avoid contamination.
Mistake #3: Poorly Ventilated Space
The characteristic of the place to paint your object is crucial in handling the chemicals. If space is poorly ventilated, the toxic chemical in the paint can spread quickly and cause adverse effects. This is because moving air quickly spreads the toxic molecules while spraying using an HVLP sprayer.
Avoiding this mistake is simple. Use the right paint equipment with sufficient ventilation such as a paint gun or a paint booth. This is the reason you need to invest in the correct equipment before water immersion printing.
Mistake #4: Incorrect Mixing Ratio
Even though the painting process is quite simple, most people make considerable mistakes while mixing the paint. No matter the quantity of surface you need to coat, applying paint with incorrect ratio can cause the coat not to stick on the surface, or you can end up with such a light paint that cannot spray to higher places.
It is recommendable to purchase already mixed paint from trusted vendors or get their recommendations on the correct mixing ratio.
Mistake #5: Film Placement and Hydration Mistake
The most prominent characteristic of poor film placement and hydration technique is the use of cold water. For instance, using water below 75 °F is a not a recommendable practice. It would cause sticky film and melting issues.
Avoid the mistake by using warm waters between 75 °F and 80 °F (23.8 °C and 26.7 °C). You can also use a higher water temperature than 80 °F, but it is not necessary.
Mistake #6: Waiting Intervals during Dipping and Hydration of Film
Most people neglect the importance of observing the correct waiting periods, which leads to undesirable results.
Avoiding undesirable outcomes in the process is through observing the correct waiting lengths – hydrate the film in warm water for between 50 and 80 seconds; wait for between three and five seconds before dipping the activated film.
Mistake #7: Unconventional Drying and Coat Clearing Means
As the last stages in hydro dipping, errors often emerge during these crucial steps. For instance, using incorrect coat clearing materials and drying at low temperature are bad practices.
Drying technique depends on the speed you need, with the utilization of either air drying or convection heating. In convection heating, use low temperatures to preserve the mineral composition and preserve the final appearance of the object. After sufficient drying, use coating materials like Matte for ink sealing and producing clean final products.